Friday, January 31, 2020

"the Man who spoke in Pictures" Masterclass @ MIFF 2020

Please do join us in our homage to Shri RamMohan on Sunday the 2nd of February in the Mumbai International Film Festival ( #MIFF'20)
Screening of selected shorts from 11.30 am to 1pm @ RRIII theatre.
Masterclass by Chetan Sharma "The Man who spoke in pictures" @ RRIII theatre from 5.15pm to 8.30pm.
Please do come and spread the word to all who are interested in animation or filmmaking. This is a great opportunity to see a summary of a long creative life like no other..
Everybody in the animation community, this is a special request to all of you to come together to celebrate the life of one of the founding fathers of Indian animation. There is much to learn!! Please do share and support.
See ya there!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Padmashri RamMohan: The life of a Legend TASI session!

It a huge honour and overwhelming responsibility to curate this retrospective of Padmashri RamMohan presented by The Animation Society of India, TASI.
We hope it will become more than a lineup of his work, becoming instead, an 'Appreciation' of his ceaseless creativity as we show excerpts from a long career of nearly 60 years starting with the creation of Film' Division's Cartoon Film Unit in 1956 all the way to 2015!! and peppered with his sketches of characters, storyboards, concepts and anecdotes from key people concerned with these projects!!
Also with all the enthusiasm that we have gathered from speaking to his and our numerous colleagues, it promises to be a reunion of sorts for the very large RamMohan 'gharana' whose members drive a large chunk of Indian Animation today.
Please consider this post a personal invitation from TASI, The
Animation Society of India, Gayatri and myself to attend this event. 21 December, Whistling woods, Goregaon. 11 am sharp.
Please share and pass on to all who might be interested!! Its a free event!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

"On the Joy of Working with Children" Interview in the Hindu

Well... This interview was quite a pleasure as the reporter was actually interested in the work and asked meaningful questions... thats fairly rare.. 
A pleasant side-effect of the second edition of the Vizag Junior Literary Fest which I had the pleasure of participating in last month...

 click on the image to go the article

Monday, September 3, 2018

A hundred years ago! - Dadasaheb Phalke's Shri Krishna Janma form 1918!!

On this happy day I was made even happier by the discovery of this treasure on youtube!!! We live in lucky times! SO presenting Dadasaheb Phalke's presentation on Krishna's birth from 1918!!!!! Exactly a hundred years back!!One of the early pioneering efforts in Indian filmmaking, 'the film' is not complete but only a very small fragment 10% (less than six mins) of its original hour long length... 

And it is a silent film - jumpy-jerky-all over the place to our 'well adjusted to cinema spectacle' eyes... but its a wonder to behold nevertheless.. for me at any rate 
And as a bonus the video is combined with a fragment of another Phalke film - 1927's Bhakta Prahlad!!

Only sticking to Shri Krishna's theme for now -
Witness the harried people beseeching the Gods for help as Lord Vishnu reclined on Sheshnag with Devi Lakshmi and Brahmaji on the lotus emerge from the sea..Lord Vishnu 'shows' the suffering folk his intent.. he will incarnate as Shri Krishna, but transforming into the little child.. (this is a simple and great example of the visual language.. seems obvious but isn't)
Dadasheb Phalke's daughter Mandakini Phalke plays little Krishna in this as well the other epic "Kaliya Mardan" 1919
Then the fragments again 'show' Kamsa's hallucination.. yes.. this 'akashvani' or the warning from the ether is also shown in a brilliant sequence where Kamsa is overwhelmed by multiple Shri Ks of different ages who he tries to fight off in vain by slashing at air with his sword! 
But... before that is on of the great examples of visual effects in films, which stands well against the best being done anywhere in the world at that time ( incl George melies!!) Kamsa hallucinates or sees his head flying off his body in a geyser of blood!! "It is part of film lore that the blood in this trickshot was hand tinted red!" - Light of Asia -Indian silent Film edited by Suresh Chabria#currentlyreading - #serendipity)
I love this end of film title card... apparently the silent film was accompanied by actual singing of bhajans and aartis at the end of screening for the devout to get the full experience of having witnessed Shri Krishna!

Enjoy and salute the great pioneers on whose shoulders we stand -(or try to )

Shri Krishna Janmashtami - an offering

...The baby cried as soon as the shackles were back on and the gates shut once again behind them.. The sleeping soldiers who had snored thru the entire adventure of Krishna being born and smuggled out of prison were roused from their sleep.. they rushed to their king! 
Outside the rain, wind and thunder continued their violent performance anxious and steadily moving to the climax of the events of this long night..
"The poor child!!" she wailed.. "but its a girl, Devaki! the prophecy said the eight would be a boy..."! Even though he had been out in the rain most of this night crossing the Yamuna in spate, twice, to transport the saviour to safety to his friend, Nand's house and bringing back his newborn child as instructed by the Divine voice.
The tyrant wasted no time in getting to the dungeons... this was the moment of truth.. the moment he had been waiting for... the moment for which he had his sister and her husband imprisoned... the birth of the eight son! The son who was foretold to be his doom! His eyes bloodshot with the anxiety of years he looked at the child... a girl?... brushing away Vasudev and Devaki's pleas for mercy, he held the infant by her leg like he had all her seven elder brothers... and raised the wailing child up in the air to dash her to the ground like he had the rest...
but she slipped from his fingers and became light.. before he could blink, she laughed!
She was MahaMaya- the goddess of illusion herself and she teased him "your slayer is alive and well...!!
Kamsa's life was now of a man waiting for his death.. he would fight his fate ofcourse... but his every living moment would be consumed with the vision of the avenging child.. his nightmares were the dreams of deliverance for the people of Mathura...and indeed his own... though he knew it not.
art & retelling (C) Chetan Sharma 2018

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Dilip Saab!

The 11th of December was the Legendary Thespian's 'happy' birthday!! Just thought of these really old sketches of him done for an animation piece sometime in 2000.. almost 13 years ago! With the sudden realisation of the passage of time, also dawned the realisation of the timelessness of an artist's work... Dilip Kumar was at the forefront of creativity and success in Indian Cinema for many decades of its golden age and has inspired countless actors from Dharamendra to Amitabh Bachchan to Shahrukh et al.. and somewhere down there in that list of the inspired I find a very earnest myself... I have always loved Dilipji, with not a feeling of an actor but strangely as an elder to look upto.. a person from my own family.. that I feel very close to tho I dont know him at all..
Anyway an old sketch from 13 years ago with a lil touch up.. (this was a printout of an image in our files which used a ruff sketch in the original..) Hope you like it and remember that we become who we do on the shoulders of the ones who came before us.. in his case, its the shoulder of a giant!
Dilip Kumar in 2000 and a flashback from Naya of my favorite moments in Hindi cinema